Black Mountain Library reviews and recommendations

Special to Black Mountain News

With thousands of books to choose from, and new titles coming in regularly, the Black Mountain Library offers reading material for everyone. 

Below are six book recommendations with reviews by library staff. Call the Black Mountain Library at 250-4765 or visit if you would like to reserve any of these titles. 


"Olive, Again"      

by Elizabeth Strout      

"Olive, Again"

New York Times best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions. Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet empathetic and ruthlessly honest, the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only her own life but the lives of those around her in Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an unwanted inheritance, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire moments of transcendent grace. Avail. 10/15

If you like this one, try: "Olive Kitteridge" by Elizabeth Strout, "Clock Dance" by Anne Tyler and "Three Junes" by Julia Glass

"The Last Train to London"          

by Meg Waite Clayton  

"The Last Train to London"

Centering on the Kindertransports that carried thousands of children out of Nazi-occupied Europe, "The Last Train to London" follows Truus Wijsmuller, a member of the Dutch resistance who risks her life smuggling Jewish children out of Nazi Germany. After Britain passes a measure to take in child refugees from the German Reich, she dares to approach Adolf Eichmann, the man who would later help devise the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” in a race against time to bring children on a perilous journey to an uncertain future abroad.

If you like this one, try: "A Daring Escape" by Tricia Goyer, "Far to Go" by Alison Pick, and "The World That We Knew" by Alice Hoffman


"What We Talk about When We Talk about Books"            

by Leah Price         

"What We Talk About When We Talk About Books"

Reports of the death of reading are greatly exaggerated. In "What We Talk about When We Talk about Books: The History and Future of Reading," Leah Price examines the world’s great libraries and finds scant evidence that a golden age of reading ever existed. From the dawn of mass literacy, most readers skimmed and multi-tasked. The evidence that books are dying proves even scarcer. In encounters with librarians, booksellers, and activists who are reinventing old ways of reading, Price offers fresh hope to bibliophiles and literature lovers alike. 

"Talking to Strangers"       

by Malcolm Gladwell    

"Talking to Strangers"

How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know is an excursion through history, psychology, and scandals and suggests that because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we invite conflict and misunderstanding. In his powerful examination of our interactions with strangers—and why they often go wrong—Gladwell has written a gripping guidebook for troubled times. 


"Sweeping Up the Heart" 

by Kevin Henkes

"Sweeping Up The Heart"

From two-time Newbery Honor author Kevin Henkes—Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her middle school. But her father has said no, and now Amelia is stuck at home. But then she meets Casey at her neighborhood art studio; Amelia has never been friends with a boy before, and the experience is fraught and thrilling. When Casey claims to see the spirit of Amelia’s late mother, the pair embarks on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her. 

"All Our Broken Pieces"    

by L.D. Crichton

"All Our Broken Pieces"

Lennon doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new LA school won’t suck. Ten flicks and maybe her new step-family will accept her. Twenty-five and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Kyler witnesses this pattern of lights from his tree house next door, where he fills his notebooks with lyrics that reveal his own true scars. And as Lennon infiltrates his mind, Kyler wants to know the truth about his new muse.